Spring Break with JPL

Spring Break is fast approaching, and we’d love to be part of your plans!  We have take home kits for those of you traveling, or if you’re staying in town, make JPL your destination!  We recently appeared on Living Well to share our full slate of activities!


Youth Media Awards 2023

Each year the American Library Association (ALA) honors books, videos, and other outstanding materials for children and teens. Recognized worldwide for the high quality they represent, the ALA Youth Media Awards (YMA), including the prestigious Newbery, Caldecott, Printz, and Coretta Scott King Book Awards, guide parents, educators, librarians, and others in selecting the best materials for youth.

Selected by committees composed of librarians and other literature and media experts, the awards encourage original and creative work in the field of children’s and young adult literature and media.

JPL is proud to feature many of these award winning books in our collection, and we encourage our patrons to check them out!

Joplin Reads Together Book Reveal

Joplin Public Library is excited to announce Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt as the 2023 Book Choice for Joplin Reads Together.  The book is a New York Times best seller, a Read with Jenna pick, and a nominee for two Goodreads Choice Awards in 2022.  Described as a charming, witty and compulsively readable exploration of friendship, reckoning, and hope that traces a widow’s unlikely connection with a giant Pacific octopus, Van Pelt’s debut novel is a gentle reminder that sometimes taking a hard look at the past can help uncover a future that once felt impossible.

The Library has purchased additional copies of the book in hardcover and audiobook versions. They are available to check out from the Library and available digitally using the Libby app. Information about the book, programs and more can be found at joplinpubliclibrary.org/joplinreadstogether.

Joplin Reads Together is the Library’s first Community Read, a program commonly provided by libraries around the country. As a Community Read, Joplin Reads Together is a community focused, month-long event centered upon Remarkably Bright Creatures and will include accompanying programs during the month of April, ending with a visit from author Shelby Van Pelt. 

Joplin Reads Together aims to increase awareness of the Library and its services, provide a shared experience, and connect our community to our partner organizations – Post Art Library, Missouri Southern State University Spiva Library, Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce, Joplin Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Friends of the Joplin Public Library. Community members can participate by reading the book, tracking their progress on Beanstack, and joining programs offered throughout the month of April.  

Sarah Turner- Hill (Adult Programming Coordinator) and Lori Crockett (PR/Marketing Assistant) recently appeared on KSN’s Living Well to announce the book reveal!

Black History Month at JPL

February is Black History Month!  Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans, honoring their central role in U.S. history, and recognizing their sacrifices.

At Joplin Public Library, we celebrate this month in various ways.  We have a list of recommended books, movies, and streaming documentaries we’re excited to share, and book and movie displays as well. 

On February 11th, we’ll be hosting our 3rd annual Black History Fair from 10:30-12:30pm.  This year’s fair will feature the Alexander/Madison Chapter of the Kansas City Buffalo Soldiers! The Alexander/Madison Chapter of the KC Buffalo Soldiers’ presentation, titled “From Slave to Soldier” will begin at 10:35 am, in the Library’s community room. Presenters will perform in full period dress while telling the story of soldiers in the United States Colored Troops, also known as the Buffalo Soldiers. Their presentation will detail the evolution of the USCT from the Civil War to World War II and the Korean War. 

Following this presentation, attendees may visit interactive displays and booths from the Library, community members, and local organizations. Participating organizations include the Emancipation Committee, George Washington Carver National Monument, the Langston Hughes Cultural Society, East Town Dreams District, and more.

Researching Your Roots

If your goal for 2023 is to find out more about your family roots, Joplin Public Library is the place to start!  We have many resources available, whether you’re a beginner or a more advanced researcher.  Just getting started?  Check out our tip sheets of questions to ask relatives, or start entering your family tree information in the Library’s Ancestry Database to come up with extended relatives, census records and more!  Newspaper archives, passenger lists, and even yearbooks can help you with your search.  We also have books (of course) about incorporating DNA records, navigating popular genealogy databases, and how to decipher census data and other findings.  

Check out our Genealogy Databases!

Joplin Reads Together

Our Adult Programming Coordinator, Sarah Turner-Hill, recently visited with Living Well to announce our new initiative- Joplin Reads Together!

Sign up for our email list to have the announcement of the 2023 book delivered to your inbox !

JPL Announces New Mobile Hotspots

Joplin Public Library is pleased to announce new funding for 600 short term and long term mobile hotspots thanks to the Federal Communication Commission’s Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF). These devices are available for check out by Library cardholders who do not have reliable internet access.  As part of the funding agreement, the hotspots require the cardholder to sign and return a statement that they would otherwise lack access to equipment or services sufficient to meet their educational needs (or those of their household).

The mobile hotspots are capable of providing Wi-Fi for up to 15 devices. Active Library cardholders may check-out a hotspot at the Joplin Public Library at 1901 E. 20th Street, during scheduled business hours. Short term hotspots are available on a first come, first served basis. The check-out period for the short term hotspot device is set at 21-days. The long term hotspot devices may be checked out for up to one year, or until the program ends November 30, 2023.

“In today’s world, almost everyone needs digital access,” said Library Director Jeana Gockley.  “As a public library we are continually looking for ways to provide this access for our many users. We are grateful to the Federal government for providing these funds and allowing the Library the ability to increase connection and learning for our community members.”

The ECF is a federal program, which gives funding to schools and libraries to provide internet connectivity and technology to communities.

Goodreads Best Books of 2022

Proposed Rule Could Cost Libraries

Missouri’s Secretary of State has proposed a new administrative rule that would require libraries to have additional, state certified, written policies for minors or risk losing state funds.

The Joplin Public Library has always, and will continue to be, an advocate for our community’s children. We value parental oversight and encourage parents and guardians to be involved in everything their children read, see, and hear.

Our collection development policy delegates the selection of Library materials to the Collection Development Librarian and, under their direction, to those members of the staff who are qualified by their education, training, and experience. This includes Library materials for minors, and the decision of which materials are age-appropriate.

Our collection policy is approved by the Library’s Board of Trustees, which allows these decisions to be a local matter, rather than overseen by the state. We remain sensitive to any amount of censorship, or restriction on people’s freedom to read. Whether a material is age-appropriate for an individual child is up to the discretion of their parent or guardian, not the state of Missouri. We encourage users of the Library to study the rule for themselves, and encourage them to share their views with elected officials. A 30-day window for public input opened November 15. You can submit comments in the following ways:

By email to comments@sos.mo.gov. Type the proposed rule number, 15 CSR 30-200.015, in the subject field.

By mail to Missouri Secretary of State, P.O. Box 1767, Jefferson City, MO 65102.

This Secretary of State has always been very supportive of libraries in the state of Missouri. We are hoping that public comments will bring reconsideration of this rule because of the potential widespread ramifications for libraries and the families they serve.

JPL in November

It’s the next to last month of the year, but JPL isn’t slowing down yet!  We have a full calendar of programming, we’re celebrating the return of DINOvember, and we’re launching a recognition of International Games Month with several ways to play throughout the month!.

First up, the Dinosaurs are on the loose at the Library!  This popular program is inspired by Refe and Susan Tuma’s What the Dinosaurs Did Last Night.  It’s a month-long imagination invasion, and it’s debatable if our staff or patrons love this program more!  Be watching our social media to keep up with the dinosaur’s antics, or come in and see their latest moves!

The very first thing the dinosaurs did was get into the Library’s stash of games because even they got the memo that November is International Games Month!

This initiative’s goal is to reconnect communities through their libraries around the educational, recreational, and social value of all types of games.  We’ll have game themed activities this month (Bingo, Chess Club, Teen Game Day), and we’d love for you to join us November 17 at 5:00 pm for our all ages game night!